Since Easter and Passover again fall at the same time this year, I thought I would make a dessert that observed both holidays. My immediate thought was a variation of a Lithuanian Nut Torte I had made a couple of years ago. The recipe uses nuts, grated chocolate and whipped egg whites to make a light cake.
The time I first made this cake, I made it with dark or milk chocolate, however always thought I should try a white chocolate version of it. Now two years later I am finally doing it!
The idea to make this cake again reappeared in my mind late one night when I was trying to fall asleep. That day a friend and I had visited Bakedown Cakery in St Leonards, as I was really keen to get some of the new Easter range. We both bought some chocolate, and as we walked home got caught in the worst downpour! We were absolutely saturated once we got back, but our Bakedown goodies had been well protected and survived the journey.
I had bought some of the Golden Almond Eggs (caramelised white chocolate filled with almond praline - as delicious as it sounds), and some of the Hot Cross Bunnies chocolate bark (white and caramelised white chocolate with Easter spices with cute bunny illustrations printed on top). These chocolates, particularly the bark got me thinking about how it could be used to decorate a cake.
The Nut Torte I had made so long before popped into my head as the perfect Easter dessert, which could also double as dessert for Passover. I decided I needed to visit Bakedown again to get more of the Hot Cross Bunnies bark, and a couple of blocks of Toasty (Bakedown’s caramelised white chocolate) to use for the torte. Jen at Bakedown also had Toasty Easter Bunnies ready when I went in the second time, and my gosh I was excited! Caramelised white chocolate is one of the best things I have ever tasted, and as someone who can’t eat ‘normal’ chocolate it was so nice to have an Easter treat I could actually enjoy!
For this Easter Torte, I used Bakedown’s Toasty to grate into the torte, and the Hot Cross Bunnies bark to decorate the outside. I also used a combination of Toasty and regular white chocolate to melt down and decorate the top and use to stick the bark to the sides of the torte. You can of course use any type of chocolate you wish to make this torte, and decorate with your favourite Easter eggs, or just leave the decoration at the chocolate drizzle if you are making this cake for Passover (some toasted nuts scattered over the top would also be lovely).
White Chocolate Easter Torte (Passover Friendly)
100g macadamias or almonds, ground
3 tbsp fine matzo meal (or fine dry breadcrumbs if not making for Passover)
100g good quality white chocolate (the kind you would buy to eat)
3 eggs (large), separated
125g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
50-100g white chocolate
Easter eggs/chocolate to decorate or some extra toasted nuts (macadamias or almonds)
Pre heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line a round 20cm loose bottomed or springform tin with baking paper.
Grate the chocolate into a medium bowl, then add the ground nuts and matzo meal. Mix to combine then set aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gradually add the sugar. Continue to whisk until the sugar has just incorporated. Briefly whisk in the egg yolks, then fold in the chocolate nut mixture.
Tip into the prepared tin, and gently smooth the top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the torte is golden in colour and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The torte will rise up then sink down a bit as it cooks.
Leave to cool on a wire rack, removing from the tin once cooled.
To decorate, melt the chocolate either in the microwave or over a double boiler. If sticking chocolate bark or similar around the edges of your torte use 100g of chocolate, drizzle some over the top, then spread the remaining chocolate around the sides of the cake then sick on the bark. If not, use 50g chocolate to drizzle over the top. Decorate with Easter eggs or toasted nuts.
Reference: ‘100 Best Jewish Recipes’ by Evelyn Rose with Judi Rose (Pavilion, 2016), p.149.